“Theatre, because it does not fear contradiction, because it feeds on paradox, because it imposes no definitive interpretation or hierarchy, is an amazing tool for anyone who wants to try to understand.”
During the 2016-2017 season, the Comédie-Française inaugurated a collaboration with Pathé Live. In the framework of this partnership, three plays from the season were screened in cinemas, live from the Salle Richelieu followed by repeat screenings three weeks after each broadcast. In this way, following the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Comédie-Française is reaching out to audiences, firstly in France, through a network of locally embedded cinemas throughout the country, but also in the world. In the first season of this new initiative, more than 50,000 spectators were able to experience the productions of Roméo et Juliette and Le Misanthrope in this way, and Cyrano de Bergerac due to be screened on 4 July 2017. Accompanied by significant educational documentation, this project also enables a very large school audience to see the Comédie-Française’s productions and to enrich their experience thanks to the resources made available on the Comédie-Française sites and from Pathé Live.
During the 2017-2018 season, three new plays will be screened live in cinemas:
Les Fourberies de Scapin
directed by Denis Podalydès
Thursday 26 October and repeat screenings over a 6-month period
Le Petit-Maître corrigé
directed by Clément Hervieu-Léger
Thursday 8 March and repeat screenings over a 6-month period
directed by Stéphane Braunschweig
Thursday 5 July and repeat screenings over a 6-month period
Details on www.pathelive.com
Reaching audiences throughout France but also abroad is one of the core missions of the Comédie-Française. Thus, in addition to tours (which account for 10 to 20% of its annual performances), it has developed partnerships with cinema, radio or television since these media have existed. Having built up a significant repertoire of audiovisual recordings (10,000 documents), which it continues to enrich, it is now developing all possible means of broadcasting its productions: DVD, VOD, SVOD, partnerships with the Institut national de l’audiovisuel (INA), Canopé, France Télévisions, Arte and Radio France.
Television and digital broadcasts
As part of the agreement between the Comédie-Française and France Télévisions, one or more shows will be broadcast this season and be available on Culturebox, France Télévisions’s digital platform. L’Hôtel du Libre-échange, filmed during the June 2017 performances in Salle Richelieu, will be broadcast on France 2 and made available on Culturebox and the Comédie-Française website.
La Comédie-Française chante Boris Vian, a film by Stéphane Metge adapted from the 2013 production of the Cabaret Boris Vian at the Studio-Théâtre, will be broadcast by France on 3 May and available on Culturebox and the Comédie-Française website until November 2017.
Filmmakers adapt the plays staged at the Comédie-Française to make cinematic works with the actors of the Troupe, produced and broadcast in collaboration with Arte. The channel programmed Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Three Sisters (winner of the best feature award from the Syndicat de la critique de cinema) in September 2015, and Vincent Macaigne’s Dom Juan et Sganarelle in May 2016. The most recent addition to this collection, Oblomov, directed by Guillaume Gallienne and a prize winner at the Luchon festival, is due to be broadcast during 2017.
New digital options with INA/YouTube
Building on their strong partnership forged in 2002, the Comédie-Française and INA have inaugurated an online video on demand service (by pay-per-view or subscription) on the ina.fr site, as well as a Comédie-Française YouTube channel giving access to the institution’s historical productions.
YouTube channel: Ina-Comédie-Française
As part of its historical collaboration with Radio France, the Comédie-Française is developing three series of radio programmes with France Culture:
A complete Racine series: Andromaque, Britannicus and Phèdre were broadcast in October 2016, and Bérénice and Bajazet were recorded in 2017 to complete the collection.
A Simenon series: Le Train and Lettre à mon juge were broadcast in 2016 and 2017.
A collection-series of five Tintin albums, the second part, Le Lotus bleu, was broadcast in October 2016. The next album recorded, Les 7 Boules de cristal, will be broadcast during the 2017-2018 season. These recordings are available as podcasts on the Radio France and Comédie-Française websites.